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A bit off topic but I'm curious... Why isn't the person who hit your helicopter handling it? I know I certainly lost my safety bonus to pay for damages every time one of our line personnel caused some hangar rash. Are parts that much of an issue on Enstroms that you cannot find a new door?

Edited by SBuzzkill
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thanks for the replys ..if i could pic up a second hand door that would be great .i think buying the window and fitting it to the door is a big job ..gettin the door to hold its shape while the now glass is fitted is the issue ..door off a crashed one that survived would get us around all that certification stuff

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hi guys my 280 shark pilots window glass got broken in the hangar by a stupid airplane wing tip.can i cut out the broken piece about 17 x 10 inches and fit a slide window .or does anyone have a door ..



The question of whether you'd touch it was implied by "can i cut out the broken piece and fit...".


No, you can't (and yes you can, with important caveats).


You can get a new window installed. You could obtain a used door if you wish, but if the door is intact, then there's no reason to do that if you can simply have the window replaced.


Installing a sliding window assembly in the door requires either a field approval and 337, purchase of an existing STC, or obtaining your own STC along with a field approval, for the change. Of those, simply getting the window replaced is far more cost effective and a lot less hassle, and the approved data already exists.


Insofar as getting the door to hold it's shape, that's a function of the design of the door. Whereas the window area on the F280FX is large and contributes largely to the shape retention and structural integrity of the door, it's best to get all the existing window cleared away, then put the door on the aircraft to establish fit before proceeding.


Care must be taken when removing existing window material to not cause further damage to the frame, especially if strong bonding agents such as structural PRC were used with the last installation.


Enstrom publishes maintenance tips and gives you a simplified explanation of door window replacement on their website at http://enstromhelicopter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Relacing-280-door-glass.pdf


You'll note that the installation of the window itself is greatly simplified from most windscreen installations because it doesn't require rivets or screws, but is bonded in place. Enstrom is liberal with allowed use of bonding agents. Note also that the pictorial touches on fiberglass repairs to door damage; fiberglass repairs must be made using aircraft grade materials in accordance with industry standards and approved current maintenance publications. A common mistake by the do-it-yourself crowd is to use polyester and non aircraft E or S glass in the repair, for a weaker, incompatible layup, often with air inclusions. I've seen quite a bit of that, and it's not a good repair (I've seen quite a few of those on various applications delaminate over time, too).


Use of the wrong materials can lead to crazing or failure of the windscreen, damage to surrounding finish and paint, and so forth.


14 CFR 43, Appendix A, subsection C, addresses preventative maintenance that the owner or pilot can do (with at least a private pilot certificate). Note specifically item 13: "Replacing side windows where that work does not interfere with the structure or any operating system such as controls, electrical equipment, etc."


This language implies that as preventative maintenance, you are allowed to replace the side window, as owner and private pilot. Bear in mind, however, the provision of subsection C, which is that "Preventive maintenance is limited to the following work, provided it does not involve complex assembly operations:"


The FAA has held that the application of complexity (and preventative maintenance in general) is operation-specific, as well as specific to the regulations under which the aircraft is operated (Part 91 vs. 135, for example).


Keep in mind that any operations done as preventative maintenance must be done to the same standards required of any certificated mechanic, as called out in current manufacturer maintenance publications or instructions, as well as compliance with industry standards (eg, AC 43.13, etc). Also keep in mind that frequently subassemblies, especially subcontracted assemblies from a different manufacturer, may have their own maintenance instructions for continued airworthiness...it's not sufficient to simply look in the aircraft manufacturers maintenance publications. You must use the same tools and apply the same practices, standards, techniques, and procedures as called out, and as expected of any certificated aircraft mechanic. Nicks in metal must be destressed and all stress risers removed, corrosion inhibited by appropriate means (alodine, for example), and all necessary testing done. The person performing preventative maintenance is also required to execute the appropriate logbook or maintenance record entries, and is responsible for them every bit as much as a mechanic who's done the work. You should also bear in mind that your work is subject to approval at the next annual inspection; when the IA does the signoff for the annual, he "buys" all the work done on that aircraft up to that date; he is approving all of it for return to service, and if your work doesn't meet his approval, he can elect not to approve the aircraft for return to service and may require that the work be redone if he's going to sign off.


Another consideration is that just like a certificated A&P mechanic, you must have recent experience, must have been trained on or performed the operation before and you are responsible for each of the aspects of the maintenance operation as spelled out in FAR 43.

Edited by avbug
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As much as many of you don't like Avbug's replies around here, he is correct. You cannot simply fix a hole in a broken window by custom fitting a sliding portion of window to it, unless you go through the steps Avbug mentioned. It has to be approved.


Avbug's first reply asking if the op has a valid mechanic's license with at least and airframe rating asks if he is qualified to do the work he is asking about. By asking such a question in the first place, it gives a hint that the op doesn't hold a mechanic's license.


Therefore the answer to the op's question would be no, you cannot. Contact a licensed mechanic to do the repair and do it correctly.

Edited by superstallion6113
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As much as many of you don't like Avbug's replies around here, he is correct...

Ninety percent of people reading this are pooping!


,...so we may as well listen to the advice from an a**hole.

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there are plenty of aviation salvage yards/buyers out there, a few googles and some phone calls should head you in the proper direction.


about all else i can say about this is: "you can fool some of the ppls ALL of the time,, & you can fool all of the ppls SOME of the time,,,, but ya can't fool mom" (in the words of Spanky McFarland)


and if you can't find a door or new glass? you can always move to Florida or some exotic tropical island and fly with the doors off.

Edited by pokey
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Here's the Enstrom guy (Cameron I believe was his name) I did an hour with many moons ago. He may be able to help as I believe he is an Enstrom rep, and also the guy at their booth at HeliExpo.



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Enstrom sells the windows. Enstrom provides approved data for effecting the repair. It's not even screwed or riveted. It's bonded. Not really rocket science, and certainly something that can be done given qualified personnel and facilities.


Buying a replacement door to take care of a cracked or broken window is like throwing away the Cadillac when the ashtray is full.


The aircraft does fly without the doors...which can be removed until repairs are complete.

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